The female singing voice tends to live in the head voice, especially true of many classically-trained singers that mainly work in theater and on Broadway.
There are some classical singers that have a fuller, richer dramatic natural head voice, but if a female singer wants to become more commercial and sing contemporary music such as power ballads, she needs to move beyond the head voice by developing the chest voice and the mix.
From Head to Chest to Mix
To help a classical female singer make the move Dave Brooks (Brett Manning Associate) begins by helping first develop her chest voice.
“There’s a tendency to resist the chest voice at first,” Dave said. “I’ll hear things like nobody speaks that way. But I quickly point out as they work through exercises that the chest voice is a lot like you’re yelling to some across the room to come here or listen to you. You need a good solid chest voice to be able to move into the mix.”
Once a singer gets comfortable with the chest voice there is a tendency to revert to the head voice when approaching the natural breaks.
“They fight that transition from chest voice to head voice. This happens because the head voice is familiar territory while the chest voice is not,” Dave said.
The chest voice is not required to compress. Compression comes through the transition or break.
“Once a singer can feel and hear the power that comes with compression the stage is set for a good solid mix,” Dave added.
Sing Stronger and Longer
Once singers gain a strong technical foundation, they can resonate more and also sing for a longer period of time. Developing technical proficiency in the chest and mix impacts other areas such as phrasing and choices a singer might make.
Dave has noticed how a female singer that lives in that classically trained head voice handles lyrics and phrasing.
“There’s a tendency to be very precise, very exacting. They will very proper and tightly structured even as songwriters,” Dave said.
Become More Marketable
He has noticed that once singers get comfortable with the chest voice and mix their songwriting style changes as well, and they tend to want to explore a variety of genres. Vowel placement makes a big difference in the mix voice. The narrower the vowel the higher you can go.
“You will still have stylistic choices to make when singing a song. Even with a good solid technical foundation, you will give some of your technique away to style,” Dave said. “But by developing your mix you will have many more options as singer, will become much more marketable, and move you from a niche market to a more commercial one.”
A prime example of a classically trained female singer that successfully made the move into contemporary music with a strong chest and mix is 80’s rock star, Pat Benatar.
Summing It Up
Finding the mix is important for singers of all styles. It gives you more playing place as an artist. By using Brett Manning’s Mastering Mix program (soon to be released) or the Top 7 Secrets of the Super-High Mix, the mix can be built into a very solid and full sound. The mix can be used to sound like an extension of the chest voice or like a downward extension of the head voice. Best of all it allows you to move through your voice without the appearance of breaks or shifts of tone quality.
The mix allows you to stay at a relaxed posture using a comfortable balance of cord closure and air flow. What eliminates any sound or sign of a transition break is the split in resonance, with some resonance from the chest voice coming out of the mouth while some resonance moving into the head as it works its way up behind the soft palate. Want to know more about mix? Check out some of our amazing Singing Success Online lessons for free here.